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Category: European Union (EU) (Page 1 of 3)

Could Almere provide a glimpse of what living in cities will be like in the future?

BBC »

Almere’s evolution is inspiring other cities too, by providing examples of innovative urban planning in action. “Professionals – politicians, architects, city planners – come from all over the world to look and learn from Almere,” says JaapJan Berg, citing particular interest from China. “They have been working on new towns and cities there on a completely different scale – places like Shenzhen. In the UK, I would mention Milton Keynes, and in France, Marne-la-Vallee.”

MVRDV, meanwhile, have drawn on principles from Almere in their ongoing redevelopment of the city centre of the Dutch city of Eindhoven, which aims at allow that city to expand significantly, yet still retain an air of “cosiness”. Cues from Almere include creating green city centre living spaces and using brightly-coloured buildings in striking shapes to enliven the feel of the cityscape.

Principles learned in Almere are also being deployed on a smaller scale in the little Dutch village of Overschild, which saw almost 80% of its homes badly damaged as a result of earthquakes triggered by fracking in the area.

Key ideas trialled in Almere that are being introduced here include the chance for residents to design their own new homes, alongside collective decision making on infrastructure and facilities. “Residents were asked what their wishes were and how they felt the village should look like in 10 years – [then] we have given the residents a toolbox which will give them the help and inspiration needed to take the future into their own hands,” says Winy Maas. »

Austria’s €3 per day go-anywhere travel card helps fight climate change

CNN »

Fifteen years after it was first proposed, Austria’s new Klimaticket, or climate ticket, goes live on October 26. Offering seamless travel across all modes of public transport it is intended to galvanize the Alpine nation’s fight against climate change.

The annual pass, priced at USD$1,267 (€1,095), works out at just USD$24 (€21) per week or USD$3.50 a day. If all goes according to plan, it should encourage people to swap their cars for more climate-friendly forms of getting around.

The Austrian government’s 2030 Mobility Master Plan aims to reduce private car use from 70% of total annual kilometers traveled to 54% by 2040, at the same time increasing public transport’s share from 27% to 40% and doubling active travel (walking and cycling) from 3% to 6% of the total.

A passenger on an electric train requires just 55% of the energy used by a battery electric car for the same journey, according to the master plan, meaning big carbon emission cuts can be made with a relatively small percentage shift to more sustainable modes of travel.

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10 European Union countries call on the European Commission to recognize nuclear energy as green source

Nuclear power plants now generate over 26% of the electricity produced in the European Union. France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear. Germany and others are not convinced nuclear qualifies as green power.

Euronews »

A group of ten EU countries, led by France, have asked the European Commission to recognise nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source that should be part of the bloc’s decades-long transition towards climate neutrality.

Tapping into Europe’s ongoing energy crunch, the countries make the case for nuclear energy as a “key affordable, stable and independent energy source” that could protect EU consumers from being “exposed to the volatility of prices”.

The letter, which was initiated by France, has been sent to the Commission with the signature of nine other EU countries, most of which already count nuclear as part of their national energy mix: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania.

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Germany recommends booster shots for people over 70

DW »

Germany’s vaccination authority, STIKO, recommended coronavirus vaccine booster shots for people aged over 70 on Thursday.

All residents of care homes, as well as workers who come into direct contact with them, should also be offered a third vaccine dose, the body said. The same was also recommended for medical workers in direct contact with patients.

STIKO gave its recommendation on the grounds that vaccine protection “declines over time, particularly in terms of preventing asymptomatic and mild infections.”

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